With the seventh pick in the first round of the 2021 MLS SuperDraft pres. by adidas, Real Salt Lake selects …
Who will RSL pick with the seventh pick in the SuperDraft on Thursday? That is one of the many questions General Manager Elliot Fall and his staff are asking themselves ahead of the club’s 17th iteration of the annual college draft.
Historically, RSL has selected players that have remained with the club and contributed at some level or have proven to play significant roles for Real Monarchs. Goalkeeper Andrew Putna remains the only SuperDraft selection made by RSL that still resides on the roster but the likes of Reagan Dunk, Justin Schmidt, David Horst, Tony Beltran and Jeff Atinella were all selected by RSL.
Since 2010, a multitude of names have been selected with the seventh overall pick and have gone on to see success not only within MLS but abroad and with their respective national teams including: Jack McInerny (Philadelphia; 2010), Kofi Sarkodie (Houston; 2011), Nick DeLeon (D.C. United; 2012), Walker Zimmerman (FC Dallas; 2013), Andre Lewis (Vancouver; 2014), Matt Polster (Chicago; 2015), Richie Laryea (Orlando; 2016), Jake Nerwinski (Vancouver; 2017), Mason Toye (Minnesota; 2018), Dayne St. Clair (Minnesota; 2019) and Miguel Berry (Columbus; 2020).
To preview the 2021 SuperDraft, here are some of the top prospects at each position to keep an eye on.
Andrew Pannenburg (Wake Forest) – RSL could strengthen its goalkeeping core with the addition of Pannenburg whose pedigree shows as one of the highest ranked goalkeepers in the draft having earned four clean sheets in nine matches in 2020.
Colin Shutler (Virginia) – Another goalkeeper who could bring steady competition to RSL’s goalkeeping core having made 22 saves in the 2020 season.
Ethan Bartlow (Washington) – Playing primarily as a centerback, Bartlow enters the draft as a ‘pro-ready’ defender who can make an impact on a team’s backline. RSL could perhaps select him with the seventh pick to compete with already formidable defensive core. Bartlow is also named as one of the newest Generation adidas members on Tuesday.
Josh Bauer (New Hampshire) – Rated by some as arguably the best central defender in the draft pool, Bauer is a solid one-on-one defender who is also imposing in the air.
Javain Brown (South Florida) – A natural yet dynamic right back, Brown could provide depth to RSL in the outside back category should one of its regulars take a leave for the Olympics.
Philip Mayaka (Clemson) – Placed atop Soccer by Ives’ draft board, the physical central midfielder could possibly fill a gap left by the legendary Kyle Beckerman. Mayaka is a Generation adidas signee.
Bret Halsey (Virginia) – Listed as a central midfielder and/or a right back, Halsey can provide versatility and comes complete with a Generation adidas contract to show for it.
Louis Perez (Central Florida) – Pundits that reside within the college soccer sphere give Perez an evaluation that is loaded with great work ethic and technical ability, giving him the opportunity to easily fit into various team systems.
Calvin Harris (Wake Forest) – Another Generation adidas signee from the all-too successful Demon Decans, the Englishman has already been scouted by multiple MLS sides looking to add the attacking prospect.
Derek Dodson (Georgetown) – Further down the draft board is the 6-foot target forward who scored 11 goals for Georgetown in 2019.
Rodney Michael (UC Santa Barbara) – A 2020 College Soccer News Preseason All-American Third Team selection, Michael logged 23 goals and 14 assists for the Gauchos in his college career.
Be sure to tune into the 2021 MLS SuperDraft pres. by adidas on Thursday, January 21, 2021 on MLSsoccer.com. You can watch the draft live beginning at 12:00 p.m. MT.